Let’s blow away the smoke—this is one of the best new digicams we’ve reviewed in a long time, well deserving its pick as an Editor’s Choice. It’s far from the perfect camera we’re always searching for but it does so many things well, it should go near the top of the list of anyone shopping for a new digicam. Why are we so juiced about the TX7? Read on and find out…
Features and Design
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 features the classic sliding front panel of the company’s T series models we’ve reviewed over the years. We liked it when it originally arrived and it’s still cool in 2010. Just slide the panel down and the camera powers up. Since it uses a folding optics system, the 4x zoom lens does not extend from the body. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens has a 35mm equivalent of 25-100mm, giving you a nice wide-angle for landscapes and portraits. Of course, we’d like more oomph on the telephoto side but no camera is perfect. You’ll have no problem popping this one in your pocket. Since it weighs 5.3 ounces with the battery, you can take it everywhere. Available in red, dark silver or blue finishes, the TX7 measures 3.9 x 2.4 x .7 (WHD, in inches). Our review unit was dark silver and it looked terrific.
When closed there are just a few embossed logos. When open you’ll see the lens, AF Assist lamp, flash and two small mics that record stereo sound, just one of the features that make this a standout.
Since this camera uses a very nicely-designed touchscreen interface, there are very few buttons, dials or levers. On the top is a small on/off button, the shutter and a small zoom switch. It’s very tiny but didn’t cause any problems during use. The back of the TX7 is taken up by a 3.5-inch LCD screen rated 921K pixels. Quality is excellent and we had few problems using it, even in direct sunlight. On the top right of the rear bezel are playback and still/video buttons.
The bottom has a compartment for the battery (rated an O.K. 230 images) and memory card. Sony’s 2010 models accept Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD/SDHC cards, a good consumer-friendly feature. Use high-speed, high-capacity media since you’ll definitely want to capture videos. Also on the bottom is a connector for the supplied Multi Output Stand (dock).
What’s In The Box
The TX7, battery/charger, A/V and USB cables, paint pen (stylus) and CD-ROM with Picture Motion Browser software and complete owner’s manual. You also get a Multi Output Stand, a fancy phrase for a dock with HDMI, A/V and USB outs as well as DC-in for an optional charger. Although no HDMI cable is supplied (no one gives you this), it’s a standard connection so no adaptors are required. We appreciate the small blessings especially since we recently used a Samsung DualView TL225 that requires a special adaptor to connect the HDMI cable – and were annoyed to no end.
With the Made In Japan camera charged and 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo Mark 2 card loaded, we took tons of shots and videos on a trip to New Orleans, as picturesque a town as you can find.